Heartbreak is hard. Losing someone you’d thought you’d spend your life with is hard. Whether you’re the one that left the relationship or the one that’s left heartbroken, getting over a relationship is no piece of cake. Getting over a relationship doesn’t happen overnight, sometimes it takes more time than most of us would like to admit. However, there’s no shame in taking your time to heal.
When a breakup is still recent, you may feel angry, lonely, you may think you may never love again. The good part is, you will love again, maybe even harder, and someday someone will walk into your life and by then you’ll understand why it never worked with someone else in the past.
But for now, let’s concentrate on the breakup and the best ways to help you get over it. Immediately after the breakup, you may feel sad, angry or even lonely. Staying positive is a must when you get out of a relationship, even if sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do. According to relationship experts, there are some things you should never do after a breakup.
“Because of the swirling of emotions and intensity of them, it is critical to react to the breakup in purposeful and healthy ways,” explains Juliana Morris, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist and licensed professional counselor.
“Avoid unhealthy coping skills, as even though they may bring temporary relief and release, it will not be permanent and often adds new problems to the emotional roller coaster you are on” she adds.
Take a look at the things you should never do to get over a breakup!
Don’t beg for another chance
It’s normal to miss your ex, especially if you invested some years of your life in that relationship, but you should never beg someone to give you another chance.
“If you feel compelled to do so, examine your motivation,” says Jonathan Alpert, a psychotherapist, Huffington Post blogger, and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.
The main rule of getting over someone is not pleading for a do-over. Sometimes, a breakup comes out of nowhere, and you’ll be left shocked and broken into pieces with many questions to ask with too little answers. When this happens, you should ask yourself a question.
“Do you miss your ex specifically, or do you miss the idea of having a partner? The two are very different,” he adds.
Don’t call or text
Any contact with your ex keeps you away from getting over them. If you truly want to recover and heal your heart, aim to go at least 30 days without contacting them. You’ll see that those 30 days will soon become 40, then 50, and by then chances are you’ve gained some clarity and you’ll feel so much better.
“An important step in healing is to remove your ex from your physical and digital world,” according to Lisa Marie Bobby, Ph.D., LMFT, dating coach, founder, and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling & Coaching, author of Exaholics and host of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.
Don’t seek revenge
It’s natural to feel the desire to lash out at your ex, directly or indirectly, explains, Ili Rivera Walter, Ph.D., LMFT, and professor of marriage and family therapy,
Seeking revenge may seem normal to some, but it’s not smart to actually do so. The best revenge is living well without them.
“When those feelings arise, take a deep breath and ask your higher self: 1) Is it worth sitting in the negative energy of revenge? 2) Is revenge consistent with who you want to be? 3) How will this serve me, now, or in the future?” she says.
“Revenge is a two-edged sword that can leave feelings of shame and remorse.”
Don’t date the next person you meet
Some people think that by replacing their exes with a new partner will avoid the sadness part. The truth is, you can’t skip phases. All those things you avoid now, will inevitably come back and haunt you later. So, take your time to heal, and only when you’re feeling ready start to date again.
“After a painful breakup, being single for a while is the best way to ensure that your next relationship is not impulsive, haphazard, and doomed for a repeat breakup,” says April Masini, a New York-based relationship and etiquette expert.
“Take some time to process what happened and where things didn’t go as you had hoped—and what you want to do differently next time,” she says.
Don’t go overboard on partying
There are two types of people in this world when it comes to breakups. There are those that don’t want to do anything, they’ll just lay in bed all day avoiding any human connection until they feel ready to date again, and there are those who don’t like to be alone after a hurtful breakup. They try spending their nights in the club, talking to strangers and keeping their mind occupied.
“Some people are looking for validation that they’re still attractive or sexy,” says Jenn Mann, Ph.D., author of The Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn’s 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection & Intimacy.
Right after a breakup, partying, drinking and flirting will only be a distraction from the grieving process.
“If we don’t take time to grieve and don’t work on ourselves, we are doomed in our next relationship,” she says.
Don’t avoid the pain
You can’t recover from a breakup if you keep avoiding it. Let yourself suffer and cry until there are no more tears left to cry. Do not avoid the pain, it’s normal to feel sad when someone you loved isn’t part of your life anymore. Allow yourself to feel that sadness, it’s the only way you can feel happiness again.
To get over a breakup, you may try to avoid the hurt and pain because it’s just too devastating. But you can’t recover from the relationship when you try and ignore its breakdown.
Morris warns not to tamp down or avoid your feelings. “Do not expect your emotions to happen in some kind of organized, cookie-cutter way—they will arise at unexpected and perhaps inconvenient times and ways,” she says.
“Allow the range of sadness, hurt, anger, frustration, celebration, fear, even hate come to you; face them, experience them and move through them.”
Don’t kiss and tell
It doesn’t matter how angry you are or how much they made you suffer, you should never speak badly about someone you dated. Bad-mouthing your ex doesn’t help you to move on easier and it is neither polite, attractive or productive.
“Trash talk reflects more on you than it does on your ex,” says Masini.
Hurting is normal in the healing process, but you should try to be the bigger person by remaining silent instead of talking badly about your ex.
“It drags you down into the mud when what you need is to rise above.”
Like most situations, there is always an exception to the rule? You can, of course, confide in your close friends and family to tell your part of the story.
Don’t blame yourself
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you’re getting over a breakup, advises Guy Winch, Ph.D., a Psychology Today contributor.
“Remember that your ego and self-esteem are already hurting—don’t make it worse,” says Winch.
Blaming yourself for the breakup won’t make it any easier for you to get over your ex. Even if you were the reason the relationship broke down, learn to forgive yourself and understand that people make mistakes.
“Be as compassionate toward yourself as you would be to a friend whose heart had just been broken,” he says.
If you feel like you can’t move on, even if it’s been a while since you broke up, or you wish to seek clarity from someone who doesn’t know your ex, consider talking to a therapist.
Don’t stay home
Do not allow yourself to fall into feelings of self-pity. A mood that involves you staying in bed all day crying about your ex. Also, if you keep on checking your phone every minute hoping they will text you you have 0 chances of moving on.
Many relationship experts suggest that keeping your mind busy is a great way of getting over your ex. Even if they aren’t a part of your life anymore, you still have one. Go to work, go out with your friends and engage in activities that can help you clear your mind.
“Find at least two, and up to five, things that you can do every single day for yourself that make you feel great, and that helps you fill your time,” says Bonny Albo, About.com dating expert.
“Keeping busy, even if it is a bit cliché, does help, and soon enough you’ll have so many new things going on that you truly love and are passionate about, you won’t even have time to think about your ex” he adds.
Don’t be a hater
Don’t hate your ex just because you can. At the end of the day, your ex is still human and makes mistakes, just like you. They are just trying to figure out their life and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“You don’t have to wish rainbows and a hot new romantic partner to your ex, but tap into the love you have for that person and use that goodness to help you move into happiness yourself,” says Morris.